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- 1 What is the GHB?
- 2 Uses of GHB
- 3 Effects of GHB
- 4 How GHB works
- 5 Physical dependence
- 6 Dangers of overdose and mixing with other substances
What is the GHB?
Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a natural chemical found in the cells of the brain.
It was first synthesized in the laboratory in the 1960s by a French chemist in search of a sleep aid. It was used during the sixties as a sedative and anesthetic in the treatment of sleep disorders, anxiety, fibromyalgia, narcolepsy, lack of libido and as a birth aid. But it was withdrawn shortly after the pharmaceutical market due to its low analgesic effect and its high epileptogenic capacity.
GHB is also used as recreational drug Like alcohol. It usually comes as a liquid or a salt or powder that mixes with water for recreational use. This mixture is colorless and odorless, although it gives a different salty flavor.
GHB or gamma hydroxybutyrate (C4 H8 O3) is a central nervous system depressant (CNS) It is commonly known as a "club drug" or "rape" drug. The reason is that GHB is usually consumed in bars, parties and discos by young people and teenagers, and is often placed in drinks, sometimes from another person without it, to cause a state of lethargy and loss of awareness
Most users explain that the GHB induces a pleasant state of relaxation and tranquility. The most frequent effects are placidity, sensuality, increased sexual desire, mild euphoria and sociability. Anxiety and inhibition tend to dissolve in a feeling of emotional warmth, well-being and pleasant drowsiness. The next day the effects of GHB usually lack unpleasant or debilitating characteristics such as alcohol and other relaxing drugs. In fact, many users say they feel mostly refreshed or even energized. However, there are some who have described feeling:
- Mentally diffuse
The effects of GHB can usually be felt within five to twenty minutes after ingestion. They usually do not last more than an hour and a half to three hours.
When mixed GHB with alcohol, a cross reaction is generated that can cause a total loss of consciousness. Hence, consumers drink non-alcoholic beverages and do so in low doses, since their effects due to concentration have a very small margin of control.
The effects of GHB are very dose dependent. Small increases in the amount ingested lead to a significant intensification of the effects. Higher levels produce dizziness, clumsiness, interference with mobility and verbal incoherence. At higher doses they usually induce sleep.
The negative effects of GHB may include sweating, loss of consciousness, nausea, hallucinations, amnesia and comma, among others.
How GHB works
The GHB works in the dopaminergic system, preventing the release of dopamine at the synapse and at the same time making neurons produce more dopamine. When the GHB fades, a rebound effect occurs. This is basically a sharp increase in the levels of dopamine that have been accumulated and that are now released into the nervous system. This effect could be responsible for the general feelings of greater well-being, alertness and excitement the next day.
GHB also affects the system of serotonin, increasing the level of serotonin in the body, creating feelings of well-being and euphoria. These effects are not as important in the body as dopaminergic effects.
Within a few hours, GHB is metabolized as oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2), and then excreted through breathing, urine and sweat. Unlike most other drugs, GHB is not a foreign substance to our body, so it recognizes and uses it, it does not harm the liver or kidneys, and it is not neurotoxic.
GHB is an addictive drug that It is used to reduce anxiety, manage stress, reduce social anxiety, etc. Physical withdrawal symptoms appear after a few days of repeated and consecutive consumption. It is easier to stop using it gradually by decreasing doses over 2-3 weeks.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Difficulty to sleep
- Pain and feeling of tightness in the chest
- Muscle and bone pain
- Greater sensitivity to external stimuli (sound, light, touch)
These symptoms last from a few days to a maximum 2-3 weeks, as the body returns to balance itself.
Dangers of overdose and mixing with other substances
GHB consumption can be dangerous when used incorrectly or when mixed with other drugs. The combination of GHB with alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics They can lead to an overdose, even at low doses. There have been deaths attributed to GHB consumption. Mixing this tranquilizer with other tranquilizers slows the heart and respiratory rate, sometimes to dangerous levels. Overdose can cause extreme drowsiness, loss of consciousness, dizziness, vomiting and extreme disorientation. Extreme overdoses or "poisoning" (there is too much GHB in the bloodstream), can cause unconsciousness, seizures, vomiting and depressed breathing.
Other related drugs:
GBL or Butyrolactone
1,4-BD or Butanediol